Safari Club International Foundation recently hosted the Hon. Minister Ronald Kaoma Chitotela from Zambia at the 2020 SCI Convention in Reno, Nevada. Adding to the show’s resounding success, we were joined by a record number of government officials from eight African countries.
Hon. Minister Chitetola was newly appointed to lead Zambia’s Ministry of Tourism and Arts, responsible for wildlife management and administration of hunting. Chitotela’s attendance gave much needed confidence to Zambia’s many professional hunting outfitters and SCI members in his support.
“We are here to demonstrate the commitment of the Zambian government to the international hunting industry and engage directly with our operators marketing at the SCI Show,” stated Andrew Eldred Chomba, Assistant Director of Conservation for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, who accompanied the Minister on his US trip.
The Professional Hunters Association of Zambia among others were pleased with the Minister’s open dialogue with the private sector and looked forward to further meetings back home in Zambia. Approximately 45% of Zambia’s revenue earmarked for conservation comes from tourist hunting with 70% of clients from the US and another 11% from the UK. In the face of the UK’s proposed ban in trade in hunting trophies, the need for stakeholders to work together is critical.
Tanzania was also in attendance, represented by a high-level delegation from the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority led by Commissioner Dr. James Wakibara and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. The auction of hunting blocks continues to be an issue being resolved with the Tanzania Hunting Operators Association as they revitalize the hunting industry in Tanzania.
As a new affiliate member of SCI, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority exhibited a booth at the show, the first time a range state government was able to directly market and inform members about national laws and CITES permitting. Safari Club is happy to have such a close relationship with the Zimbabwean authorities, including hosting the most recent African Wildlife Consultative Forum in Victoria Falls, chaired by Director General Fulton Mangwanya. Delegations from Botswana, Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa and Uganda also attended.
“We were honored to host such high-level delegates and work directly with African range states,” said Joe Goergen, SCIF Conservation Manager. “Africa’s commitment to sustainable use conservation was shown here at the Convention and also every year at our AWCF meeting.”
Safari Club continues to provide valuable venues including both the SCI Show and AWCF for discussing domestic matters between government and PH stakeholders, as well as meeting with the US Fish & Wildlife Service team on trophy importation and international cooperation.